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tv   Nightline  ABC  September 28, 2012 11:35pm-12:00am PDT

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tonight on "nightline," police are investigating whether a new party drug led to a grisly hollywood murder-suicide. why docs, cops around parents are worried about a little pill called smiles. gentle ben. he traded the title of sexiest man alive for dad and director. of one of the best reviewed films of the year. tonight, ben affleck opens up about a transformation that goes far beyond the beard. >> that's for the ladies. and sit, bowser. there's a new breed yapping its way to top dog. meet the cute pooches proving that when it comes to fighting crime, size doesn't matter. >> announcer: from the global resources of abc news, with terry moran, cynthia mcfadden and bill weir in new york city, this is "nightline," september
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28th, 2012. >> good evening, i'm bill weir. well, by now, you might have heard about the pararells that come from the synthetic street drug known as bath salts. but now there is another designer high causing concern. it is known by the street name smiles. ah ha lose jen with a high that can last for hours or days. and, it has become part of the national vocabulary thanks to the ghastliest of crimes. abc's david wright has details. >> reporter: up until now, johnny lewis was just another aspiring actor. familiar mostly to fans of "sons of anarchy." >> i had to leave. >> reporter: now, johnny lewis is a household name. >> a new hollywood murder mystery. >> her ex-boyfriend, just found dead. >> reporter: star of a tabloid tragedy. a hollywood murder-suicide. >> one of those stories that almost seems too crazy to be
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true. >> tragic. >> reporter: lewis beat his 81-year-old landlady to death. he tore her cat to pieces. eye witnesses who tried to stop him say he showed super human strength. there are reports that some sort of drugs were involved. >> that's a possibility. we haven't located any drugs and we're not sure about that. we won't know until the report comes back from the coroner's office. but suffice to say, anybody who acts in this kind of a manner would indicate there may be some kind of drugs on board. >> reporter: if drugs were involved, does your experience tell you what sorts of things we might be talking about? >> well, the thing we're seeing lately here in los angeles are some of these synthetic drugs, something like bath salts or the new one that we heard around here called smiles. >> reporter: lewis is known to have chemical dependency. he was released from jail just five days before his death. whether it was these particular chemicals, so-called designer
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drugs, is speculation at this point, based on information police are hearing from people who knew him. but smiles is no laughing matter. >> a 19-year-old man is dead after a mass overdose. >> reporter: people have died from this stuff. today, we visited the lapd's drug lab, where criminologist jose gonzalez gave us a quick chemistry lesson. >> the c is carbon. and this is an atom here. >> reporter: the chemical compound is 2c-i. >> i am completely and fully submerg submerged, if you can't tell by my eyes, in a psychedelic world known as 2c-i. >> reporter: on youtube, guys here give trip reports, raving about it. but technically not promoting its use. >> 30 milligrams of this [ bleep ] is just so [ bleep ] and i can't -- this is just
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complete psychedelic. >> it's a tablet that you can swallow. sometimes people sniff it. but this is much, much less frequent. people usually eat it or drink it. >> reporter: you never know what you're getting. >> russian roulette. >> reporter: pioneered by an 87-year-old chemist who lives in the bay area. alexander scholgan, with a lifelong passion for psychedelic drugs. he's the focus of a new documentary called "dirty pictures." he's disk he's known to have rediscovered ecstasy. he also discovered the 2kr drugs. >> he talks about how they made them. >> reporter: step by step instructions? >> for a chemist. >> reporter: his book is a bible on the subject. giving not just recipes, but
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reviews. so, he's a connoisseur? in addition to be a chemist. >> in addition. >> reporter: the lapd keeps a copy in the drug lab. what worries you most about this stuff? >> well, clearly chance when people, you know, are under the influence of a drug like this, it's, you know, anything's possible. >> reporter: it's possible johnny lewis will turn out to be the poster boy for this dangerous new drug. or, maybe, there's another explanation. when you heard about this case, did you think, ah-ha, he must be on one of these things? >> not necessarily. there's other drugs that cause it, so -- >> reporter: such as? >> pcp, for example. >> reporter: whatever it was, it is a tragedy. i'm david wright for "nightline" in los angeles. >> our thanks to david wright. still ahead, how ben affleck found rebirth and redemption in a director's chair and how a most thrilling history lesson has mihm awash in oscar buzz.
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>> announcer: "nightline" continues from new york city with bill weir. >> back when the critics mocked him and the tabloids stalked him, some in hollywood wondered if ben affleck was just a guy matt damon brought along for the ride. not anymore, as he built a family life and a passion to help the most desperate in africa, he earned a spot as one of the most represented directors in hollywood and his latest film may be his best. as we discussed in the "nightline" interview, at argo" is based 32 years later. an angry mob storms an american embassy in the middle east. but this is not 2012 and these
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aren't clips from a recent "nightline." this is 1979. the moment that created "nightline." >> outside our embassy and all through tehran, more chanting and shouting today. >> reporter: for 444 days, as america obsessed over the 52 hostages held in iran, few knew about the six embassy workers who escaped and fled to the home of the canadian ambassador. while they hid, for weeks, from the deadly wrath of the revolutionary guards, a cia agent named tony mendez hatched an insane rescue plan. he would fly them out of tehran, posing as a film crew, scouting locations for a "star wars" rip-off called "argo." >> you need a script. you need a producer. >> reporter: before he could convince the americans to play along, he needed hollywood to help sell the lie. >> teach somebody to be a director in a day? >> you can teach a rhesus monkey to be a director in a day. >> reporter: funny to think there are genuine laughs in a story like this. but one comes from the idea that
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spies and hollywood producers are hustlers of dafrnt striiffe stripe, right? >> it really is true. to have to make up all these yarns in order to get done what they want to get done. security of our country depended on hendless, you know, stories. and, so, it never would have worked if it weren't a true story because people would have thought, there's no way the cia would be working with hollywood. >> reporter: but it did work. and because dozens of hostages remained back at the embassy, the cia had to give all the credit to canada. >> good evening. day 87, and finally a sliver of really good news. >> reporter: it was years before the mission was declassified and tony men delz got the glory he deserved. but affleck may not have to wait so long. if the early buzz is right, that grinning kid who got an oscar for writing "good will hunting" could be picking up another for directing "argo." and what a ride in between. >> my father's killer as he dies. >> wait. >> reporter: if you look at the
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filmography, you have "gigli," jt jersey girl." you have "company men", "the town." this is a guy making very different choices now. >> on some level. i'm not super into the idea of doing super hero movies now. not because i have any judgment in them. >> reporter: if you could go back to the shrine auditorium in 1998, when your mom was there, you got the trophy, matt's there, you can pull that kid aside and tell him what you know now, what would your advice be? >> well, probably be a long conversation and not one that was suitable for television. that was a very strange time. it was almost, you know, too much stimulation. it was hard to take in and hard to really recognize and put in perspective. took me a little while -- this is my wife. >> reporter: and during the maturity talk, right on cue -- >> hey, i'm doing an interview.
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>> reporter: comes a call from jennifer garner. now wife of seven years, mother of his three kids and constant career counselor. >> extraordinary as a person and as a parent. seems to have these instincts where i'm totally lost. >> reporter: who is the alpha? >> listen. any man who wants to have a marriage work needs to know who is boss is. for one, and for two, they need to know it's not them. >> reporter: how has fatherhood changed you? >> i think it's changed me in the way that i view the world in terms of doing something substantive, leaving behind something that matters. this is the congo river. >> reporter: exhibit a, the congo. four years ago, affleck invited "nightline" along as he laid the groundwork in his effort to bring attention to the desperation of millions, ravaged by war and famine. how goes that fight? are you still engaged there? >> it goes great. in fact, i want to give you guys some of our congo bars, which we
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have coming out. >> reporter: really? >> this is the eastern congo initiative. we fund a grass roots organization that works with cocoa farmers. to help them bring theit, the w they dry it out, farm it, up to international standards. hook them up with private sector here, theo chocolates, who are great partners and now they're in business. >> ben affleck. >> reporter: and while he still lobbies the u.s. government to put diplomatic pressure on congo to help their people, the democrat is not campaigning the way he did in election years past. >> yeah, i got less interested. the more i was around it, i felt it was too much about money. if you are a surrogate, you are there to help raise money. if you are not, you watch what the campaigns are doing to raise money and i've been part of it. i participated in it but it just depresses me. it's not interesting and i think it doesn't reflect well on our democracy.
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>> reporter: and for now, he is content to enjoy this career sweet spot. getting ready to direct matt damon in the story of boston crime boss whitey bull gger. i wondered if damon gave him grief for showing his six-pack abs. >> might have been a two-pack. y >> reporter: you couldn't resist. sexiest man alive. >> the script was like, tony gets out of the shower and walks -- it was like a whole, you know thing and -- i was like, i'm just going -- how about just put the shirt and and we keep going. >> reporter: you have to service the lady fans out there. you have to give them something. >> going to -- >> reporter: international relations. but also the barry gibb look. >> that's for the ladies. the ladies love the barry gibb look. >> i need you to help me make a fake movie. >> you came to the right place. >> and i went for it.
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i am not too proud to say, the beard and the hair -- >> reporter: your hair? >> oh, yeah. that was my hair. i wouldn't try to perpetrate a fraud with that. i'm surprised that i haven't gotten a lot of remarks on how good it looks. but i'm still waiting. >> "argo" opens okts 12th. amazing ride and another reminder to cheer for those hidden heroes working in the middle east and beyond. and still ahead, a canine unit from the better to be loved than feared school. but don't be fooled by their adorable looks. ♪ [ male announcer ] start with a simple idea. think. drink coffee. design something totally original. do it again. that's good. call in the engineers. call in the car guys. call in the nerds. build a prototype. mold it. shape it. love it. give it a starting price under 16 grand. take it to the track. tweak. tweak. tweak. stop. take it to the car shows. call the critics. call the marketing team. get a celebrity endorser. he's perfect. i am? [ male announcer ] yes, you are. making a groundbreaking car -- it's that easy.
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when you think of police dogs, you probably start with german shepherds, maybe a bloodhound and it's a long way down the list before you get to yapping balls of fur. but in japan, some incredibly cute canines are doing their level best to run with the big dogs. and here's abc's akiko fujita. >> reporter: in the dog eat dog world of crime fighting, where intimidation is part of the job, an eight-pound squeal doesn't exactly scream fear. miniature pups have long been considered the pampered lap dogs. arm candy for the rich and famous. but police dogs? at just ten pounds, miniature this nazer is the face of a new breed of police canines in japan. tiny, agile, and, yes, adorable. but don't call him a police mascot.
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he's trained to sniff out drugs and explosives, follow officer commands. he's even got a few tricks up his sleeve. kind of a pioneer in some ways. police here have traditionally limited their force to big dogs like german she herpds and labs. but three years ago, this dog became the country's first miniature canine, passing a rigorous test few his size had attempted. he blazed a trail and police departments changed their rules, so smaller pups could enlist. size doesn't matter when it comes to skill, this trainer says. and the expanding miniature force is proof. this is mochi, japan's newest and tiniest police dog. hear the loudest bark. the three-pound bundle of energy is all business on the job. that's him at a crime prevention event. paw to paw with his trainer. smaller pooches can only enlist as sniffer docks now.
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officers say they don't have the strength to perform other duties. they also have a short attention span. about half the focus of larger dogs. at this police dog tournament, we spotted plenty of canine hopefuls, easily distracted and easily scared. there-pound essay just shuddered at the site of our camera. they may not have the bite to compete with the big dogs, but these adorable balls of fur are trying their hardest to prove they're every bit as fierce and reliable. for "nightline," i'm akiko fujita in japan. >> my daughter's got a three-pound morkie. we're going to sign him up in japan. thank you for watching abc news. we do hope you check in on "good morning america." we are always online at and jimmy kimmel is next. have a great weekend.


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